MTPR

Solenex

Two Medicine River, in the Badger-Two Medicine area.
Courtesy Gene Sentz

A Texas oilman is suing the federal government after they canceled his lease, along with two others, in the Badger Two-Medicine area south of Glacier National Park in Montana.

The area is a sacred site for the Blackfeet Nation.

Solenex Well Site, Badger-Two-Medicine
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

The U.S. Interior Department Tuesday canceled the final two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area between Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Reservation. The undeveloped leases were first issued in the 1980's in an area that is sacred to the Blackfeet Nation.

Map of Solenex lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

The federal government says a lawsuit challenging their authority to deny an oil and gas lease in the Badger- Two Medicine area next to Glacier National Park should not go to trial.

Solenex Well Site, Badger-Two-Medicine
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

This week the U.S. Department of the Interior asked a federal judge to give them more time to respond to a lawsuit over canceled oil and gas leases in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. 

The former lease owner is suing. Earlier this month, lawyers for Louisiana based Solenex LLC asked the court to find that the Secretary of the Interior acted outside the law when canceling their 33-year old lease. 

Map of Solenex lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

The legal fight over oil and gas drilling leases near Glacier National Park has drawn the support of a coalition of tribal and conservation leaders. In March, the U.S. Department of Interior canceled a 30-year-old oil and gas lease in the Lewis and Clark National Forest - land also known as the Badger-Two Medicine.

Shortly after the federal government canceled the lease, the former leaseholder, Solenex LLC, challenged the government’s authority to do so.

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